Posted in Perspectives

What Should I Do With My Life?

Two weeks ago, my friends and I were sitting down for lunch between classes when I received a frantic message from my little sister:

“I’m not sure what I want in life.”

I was a little taken aback. Firstly, because the message came out of nowhere (we hadn’t spoken in about a week) and secondly, because when I was fourteen I wasn’t really spending a lot of time fixated on what I wanted in life. I was mostly trying to get through school, figuring things out as I went along.

So, I responded in the most cliche way possible. I asked her, “What gets you out of bed in the morning?”

“If sleep were a job, I’d be a zillionaire,” she replied and then as an afterthought added, “and writing.”

Now, this really surprised me. She’s spoken about her love for art and photography, but never writing. I was ecstatic to find we had something in common. However, as the conversation wore on, I discovered we shared another thing in common: a lack of motivation. She didn’t know where to start. She didn’t know how to start. I feel the same. I’m always sitting on so many ideas but as soon as I try to get them down on paper, I sort of freeze up, directionless. Maybe, this is something a lot of writers have in common.

It’s easy to forget why you began writing. Life is distracting enough for us to forget. I started writing for the sheer pleasure of bringing the imagination to life, for the release of emotion and for the thrill of knowing that maybe you could change someone’s life with your words.

It’s so easy to forget that burning passion.

I guess the key to pursuing something you love is to never forget why you started. Remember the feeling in your chest when you wrote your first story and don’t let that go. On some days it might be the only thing that will keep you going.

I hope now that my sister has figured out what she wants in life, that she will keep pushing until her dreams materialise. I hope the same for myself, and for you.

Posted in Perspectives

Dig deep

No one knows what is best for you, but you. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. People may look down on your decisions because you are young or because you’ve been wrong before, but don’t let their judgement derail your plans.

Even if you feel as if you have no clue where you should be heading or what to do next, don’t be discouraged. You carry the compass within you, perhaps lost or hidden under layers of self-doubt or the criticism of those close to you. Nevermind that. Remember that people will want you to succeed, but rarely more than they do. So, keep pushing. Keep digging. Everything you want and need is somewhere within you.

Nevermind that. Remember that people will want you to succeed, but rarely more than they do. So, keep pushing. Keep digging. Everything you want and need is somewhere within you.

Remember that people will want you to succeed, but rarely will they want you to succeed more than they do. So, keep pushing. Keep digging. Everything you want and need is within reach if only you take that first step towards it.

Posted in Perspectives

Oversharing on Social Media

How much is too much? This is a question I always ask myself before every post on every platform, with the result that I often post nothing at all.

Social interaction makes me nervous, whether online or in person, but lately, I’ve wanted to become more active on social media for two reasons: as an act of bravery to overcome my evident social phobia and to connect with more like-minded people. However, when I scroll through my old tweets or remember my cringy Facebook post from five years ago, I always think “wow, maybe you shouldn’t have said that.”

So again, how much is too much? To be honest, I’m not quite sure. Obviously, there are certain things you should never post online – your personal information, pictures of what you were doing when you were off work “sick”, etc – but, how deeply should you let complete strangers peer into your life.

It’s a tricky balance to strike. Share too much and you might look back in a few years regretting all of it. Someone could even use something you said back then against you in some very scary ways. On the other hand, if you share too little, you run the risk of appearing disinterested or insincere.

Who knew navigating social media would come down to an exact science. I’ve always been good at science, but this one is taking me a little longer to crack. Maybe the only solution is to not think about anything you put out there, embrace the cringe and deal with the consequences later.

Posted in Perspectives

Suicide is not Selfish

This morning, I heard the news of Chester Bennington’s passing. I’ve been listening to Linkin Park since my early teens and listening to their music now will always fill me with a tinge of sadness. I hope he finds peace.

Many people took to social media to share their condolences. However, every now and then I came across comments saying that suicide is selfish and cowardly.

Well, let me share an unpopular opinion: Suicide is not selfish. I don’t think many people understand that suicide is often the closing line of a book filled with suffering – a type suffering that I hope none of you will ever have to endure.  Continue reading “Suicide is not Selfish”

Posted in Perspectives

Little Steps

I’ve been craving change. Sudden change – a flash and a bang and something brand new emerging from the smoke. Unfortunately, change mostly doesn’t happen that way.

It’s frustrating when you’re ready to move forward in life and you’ve figured out which way to go, but your circumstances don’t allow it. I’m not particularly patient. When I see something within my grasp, I want to rush forward and grab it, without thinking about the landmines I might set off along the way.

This usually does more harm than good for me. I’m learning now to slow down a little. Big changes can start as little ones. Firstly, I’m going to start taking better care of myself: exercise, eat properly, take care of my skin, etc. I trimmed my hair the other day and I already feel a little bit like a better version of myself. There are so many little things we can do that will eventually add up and we’ll look back a few months and be surprised at how much can happen in that space of time if you’re willing to take the direction of your life into your own hands.

I’ll keep thinking big, but I’ll bear in mind that change can come in bite-sized pieces, too.


Posted in Perspectives

A Turnaround

You know the feeling you get after you’ve had a really hard time for a while and suddenly, things begin to look up? I’ve been having that feeling for a while now – as if new day is building up to something big.

I sensed it in my friends first. We all seemed to be going through some really difficult stuff at the same time. But slowly, things started to turn around for each of us. Slowly, difficult decisions began to pay off and new opportunities rolled in. I can’t help but feel that it might have a domino effect and that my turn will come soon.

I know it won’t always be smooth sailing and golden sunrises from here on in but I’m starting to think that we can do anything if we’re together. I’m really excited for all of us though. I’m excited to see where life takes us. I wonder what we’ll be talking about on our cafe dates five years from now.

Posted in Perspectives

Building Bridges

Today was just…

I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am for the friends I have. Tonight, as we huddled together in a cafe, I sat back for a moment and thought, “Wow, I never thought I’d have friendships like they do in the movies.” I didn’t believe those existed.

I’ve often felt that if we’d all stood at a riverbank, my friends would be able to swim across and reach their dreams that lay on the other side and I’d be left alone – either too afraid to swim or to be swept away by the current. Only, my friends have shown me that it’s not always sink or swim. Friendship is about building bridges and leading each other across.

And as we sat around a table, laughing our heads off, my heart started racing. I am so excited for us. Bridges aren’t built overnight and crossing our little makeshift bridge may take some careful footwork but can’t help but feel that our story will have a happy ending.